Jail for Clondalkin man caught with €1.1 million worth of drugs

by Padraig Conlon

A man who was caught with €1.1 million worth of drugs in boxes labelled “Sport Socks” has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

James Gannon (32) of St Mark’s Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine, cannabis and ketamine for sale or supply at Citywest Storage, Tallaght, on March 22, 2018.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at locations in Lucan on the same date.

On Friday, Judge Melanie Greally sentenced Gannon to nine years in prison, but suspended the final 18 months on a number of conditions.

The judge noted that the value of the drugs was “very significant” and she placed the offending at the upper end of the scale.

The court previously heard that on the day in question, undercover gardaí observed Gannon going into Citywest Storage before driving a van to the car park of Ballyowen Castle Shopping Centre, Lucan.

Gardai spotted another man getting out of Gannon’s van and driving away in a car. This car, when stopped by gardaí, was discovered to be carrying €34,972 worth of cocaine. The court heard Gannon had passed these drugs to the other man.

Gardaí later obtained a search warrant for a storage unit in Gannon’s name at Citywest Storage. Inside brown boxes labelled “Sport Socks”, they discovered cocaine, cannabis and ketamine with a total combined value of €1,151,157.

When interviewed by gardaí, Gannon admitted he rented the unit and said he had brought the drugs there the previous week. He said he had never stored drugs before and that he had a drug debt of €20,000.

He has two previous convictions for road traffic offences.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, said Gannon used to give sports socks to the homeless. He described Gannon as “a man with a very soft nature”.

The court heard Gannon was a long term drug addict who is now drug-free.

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